Church History

Two years prior to the beginning of the twentieth century, amidst all of the other Houses of Worship, there was still a void that wasn't being met here in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This was the spiritual needs of the transplanted members of our mother church Hamlet Chapel CME Church, Pittsboro, NC. At this time the late Mr. Henry Cotton, his family and several other local families dedicated themselves, rose to the occasion, and contacted the proper authorities of the North Carolina Conference of The Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. The late Reverend J.W. Roberts, Presiding Elder, met with the dedicated few, and a church was organized and named Cotton Chapel C.M.E Church (in honor of the late Mr. Henry Cotton), with the Reverend Roundtree as its first pastor.

With faith and plenty of spirit, but little capital, this church was erected but was later destroyed by fire on a Sunday night before evening services. However, at this time the membership had greatly increased and they refused to give up. With Messrs. Henry Baldwin, Kennon Cheek and Jasper Robinson in the lead, assisted by the late Reverends G.W. Flack, J.C. Staunton, Cliff Roberts and the unselfish help of many friends in the community, Cotton Chapel C.M.E. was rebuilt on the same spot.

It was a well-built frame church and was considered one of the most modern Black Churches in the area. Our membership continued to grow; conference claims and other obligations were paid on time, and we were considered to be one of the leading churches on the Durham District of the North Carolina Conference.

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